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trying to upgrade my wife''s ring

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texas_26

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 10, 2003
Messages
24
My wife currently has a 1/2CT stone that looks very nice. I bought it about 9 years ago for her. I am going to upgrade to a three stone ring, but I am trying to be smarter about it this time. I just purchased the following stone for the center:

1.14 CT
Color - F
Clarity - SI2
6.86X6.82X4.02
Depth 58.8
Table 59
Crown 12.9%
Pavillion 42.5%

The inclusion is a white feather toward the middle of the stone that I could barely see with a loop. I really had to look. I paid $3800 for this stone, and it is EGL certified.

Do you think this is a good price for the stone?

It is a better stone by a little than her current stone. Her current is an I in color, SI1, 1/2 CT.

Should I have gotten something lesser for the center to try and make them match better? Or do you think this will be fine if I get the other 1/2CT to match her existing stone?

Thanks for your help! This board is GREAT!

John
 

Mara

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 30, 2002
Messages
31,003
I ran the stone through the HCA and it came out with an excellent BIC score of .3 which is superb for a BIC cut. It got all excellents (fire, scintillation, spread and brilliance). This appears to be one of the more shallow cut stones with a little larger of a spread, similar to the stone we ended up with as well! :)

Some might warn that with EGL you may get a little less stringent grading practices, but that depends on which lab the cert is from (US is reputed to be more strict than overseas labs), but if you could barely see the primary inclusion under the loupe, it sounds as though the stone is pretty clean to me. The F color should be fine as well, as even if EGL mis-certed by one color grade then you still have a G which is still pretty much colorless. My stone is a G color BIC and its *very* white.

So it sounds like you got a great deal! If the stone sparkles and speaks to you, congrats! :) What a steal!

On your questions about the 2 other stones, I'm not too familiar with this..but might I assume that you are planning on using your wife's original 1/2c stone as one of the side stones? Have you compared it to the new F stone in color..can you visually see a difference? There is a large difference on paper between an F and an I color, but if it looks fine to you then that is all that matters. If you do use the original I stone for one of the two, I guess I would recommend to get a similar matching side stone for the other side, so that at least those two are consistent. That seems as though it would make sense to me, but anyone else have an opinion or suggestion?

If there visually is too much of a difference between the I and the new F, what about making the original 1/2c into a pendant and then getting 2 new side stones that are F/G color to complete the ring so they match better with the new stone?

Anyway just my thoughts..good luck! :)
 

texas_26

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 10, 2003
Messages
24
Thanks for your help. I have not had the opportunity to see the stones side by side unmounted. My wife's stone is mounted in a yellow gold prong mount, so it yellows the stone's appearance. As it sits now, yes there is a difference. I am not sure what to do at this point. I think it was a good buy on this large stone, but I am afraid that by going for the good buy instead of what I *should* have gotten (H or I in color), I may have hurt myself.

.3 is incredible I would assume right? This is much different than a hearts and arrows type deal though correct?

Any other comments?

So could EGL have made mistakes on the measurement of the diamond as well? Table, depth, etc? Or just subjective things like color or clarity?

Thanks!
John
 

texas_26

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 10, 2003
Messages
24
I was looking on the AGA Table for cut quality, and even though this diamond scores well in the cut advisor(.3), it appears to be not a very good cut according to the AGA chart? Or am I doing something wrong? Would someone please take the time to look my diamond up on the chart and see where it is?

Why would it score well on one but not the other?

Thanks,
John
 

jcdiamonds

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 1, 2003
Messages
24
John,

Your diamond is borderline between a 1A and 2B cut, which is very good.
I also agree that you should get a matching side stone (the I-SI1 ).
I'd recommend placing the new F color diamond in a Platinum six prong setting and keep the rest of the ring in 18K Yellow Gold.
Moreover, as far as colors are concerned, the best way to view the differences would be to place all 3 stones upside down on a small white card.
For example, take a business card and fold it 1/2 way. View it under "natural daylight bulbs," which bench jewelers would have.
Tilt it so you can see them through their girdles and hold them just a few inches from the bulbs.

In defense of EGL, they have improved their practices and their grading skills have improved dramatically over the years.


:wavey:
 

divergrrl

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 9, 2002
Messages
2,224
John,

I currently have the 3 stone princess ring, which I am re-doing, and while the diamonds are great, the setting is so ugly. I've seen other 3 stone rings, and they are gorgeous, and I figured out why.

Its best if the diamonds are not "straight across right next to each other". I read that the side stones should be a an angle to the center for maximum visual impact.

My setting is straight in a row, and the band does this really boring clunky thing instead of being graceful up to the side stones and ICK! My once sparky & pretty 1.13 carat center stone is just washed out. (I've got a half carat on each side).

I can point you towards a good 3 stone setting, the best I've seen is the "truffle" (a lot like Vatche X Prong) Here is a pic of it, I found it on a website, but I think it would be available at pretty much any brick & mortar store, or you could have it made custom. (quotes I recieved from custom jewelers to make a setting in 18k white gold with plat prongs went anywhere from $400 to $900) Your wife is gonna love it.

Cheers!

Divergrrl.....(dreaming of deep water in the cozumel)

good three stone.jpg
 

texas_26

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 10, 2003
Messages
24
Divergrrl -

That is a great idea! I really like that setting. I saved the image and sent it to my jeweler asking him if he can do it! I think that will help to take away from the fact that the center stone is a little better quality, and make fool the eye into thinking they are all a little better since the center will stand out more!

Thanks for checking the ring on the chart. I didn't know how it worked. It seemed some of the things conflicted with each other.

So what I have gathered -

1. I got a pretty good deal on the stone.
2. The stone has good sparkle and beauty.
3. The cut is Pretty good, but not Ideal.
4. I need to make sure I get another "I" in color SI1-SI2 1/2ct for the other side.
5. This forum is filled with very helpful people!:appl:

Thanks!

John
 

optimized

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Dec 28, 2002
Messages
306
I'll chime in here with my opinion, as well as fill in a few blanks...

I really like your plan to "preserve" the original engagement diamond by setting it as a side stone in the new ring. I hear about people trading in engagement diamonds for completely new larger stones, and I never understand how something that would have so much sentimental value to me and my sweetie could be just traded in like that. Your plan is a much nicer way to have the best of both worlds.

I'll second (or third, or fourth... heck, the motion is carried!) the opinion that your new center stone seems to be quite nice. A Holloway .3 "Brilliant Ideal Cut" diamond is certainly no slouch, that's for sure! It would have been nice to have the angles of the crown and pavilion (which give more accurate HCA results), but having the percentages is still more than most people can provide. :)

that gives some good info on what distinguishes the three classes.

To answer one of your questions that fell through the cracks, although most diamonds don't display the hearts and arrows pattern, it's still entirely possible that yours does. The H&A pattern has a lot to do with the overall symmetry of the individual facets of the diamond, so the stone technically doesn't have to be a "Tolkowsky Ideal" to display it. You can't tell if a diamond definitely is a H&A using the numbers that you have available to you, but you can know if it definitely isn't by using DiamCalc, so maybe if one of the vendors out there who have the program feels adventurous they could punch the figures in and see what comes out. :) The DiamCalc still won't be able to tell you whether it is a true H&A, but I think it would be capable of telling you if it definitely isn't. Another option (if you're really interested in knowing) is to look at it through a H&A viewer, which of course would be the "definitive" test. A lot of jewelry stores have H&A viewers (they're cheap), so you could probably just take the diamond to a local store and ask to look at it through the viewer. If you decide to do this, make sure you do so before you have the stone set since the hearts are only visible while looking through the viewer at the pavilion side, which will be buried in the setting once the ring is assembled.

I also agree with just about everybody here that for the sake of a symmetrical look you would do well to have the other side stone be comparable in color/cut to the existing 1/2 carat stone. The clarity is likely to be less important as far as visually matching the existing stone, but it makes sense to keep it in the SI range since with the sparkling new stone in the middle there's no reason to get a better clarity grade for the side stones. One thing you'll want to do in addition to making sure the color is similar between the two side stones is to make sure that the cut quality is similar as well. If you end up with a new side stone that has a significantly better/worse cut that the existing one, it'll screw up the visual symmetry of the ring, even if the color/clarity is similar. Think of it this way: very brilliant & very fiery side stone + Extremely brilliant center stone + medium brilliant & slightly fiery side stone = one lopsided, asymmetrical-looking ring. If you weren't quite as savvy nine years ago as you are today (I know I wasn't!) and didn't get a diamond that was quite as well-cut as you are now capable of finding, I would look for another not-so-well-cut stone for the new side stone. That way it'll look symmetrical, and you'll be able to save a bit of money to boot. IMO, with such a nice brilliant diamond shining away in the middle, the side stones will just add to the show regardless of whether they're really "stunningly cut," so the symmetry of the appearance is going to be the more important part.

Anyway, that's all I have. It looks as though you're well on your way to getting a really nice "new" engagement ring for your wife! I wish you good luck in bringing it all together!

Btw, does your wife know you're doing all this, or is it a surprise at this point? I suspect you'd have to tell her in order to get her existing ring away from her, but maybe you've got some tricks up your sleeve we don't know about....

-Tim
[/u]
 

justme

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Dec 5, 2002
Messages
184
I agree with the 3 stone stepped look - very appealing.

Tim - in response to "I never understand how something that would have so much sentimental value to me and my sweetie could be just traded in like that. Your plan is a much nicer way to have the best of both worlds."

I also like the "preserving" the original stone idea.

For me - am in the process of upgrading stone size - I don't want another ring. I want the original engagement band and my wedding band. We bought the diamond and then found the rings. Immediately after they were put together my hubbie says "that diamond is too small for the width of your bands we'll get a bigger one someday." (12mm between the 2 rings - looked good with just ering but adding matching wedding ring was too wide - lost the .81 diamond)

Well someday has come and it's true, although a fine fiery diamond, it is out of proportion to the rings. To me I've always known it was temporary and the sentiment lays in the rings and what they symbolize.

There now you know why it's possible for me to do anyway!
 

texas_26

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 10, 2003
Messages
24
Wow! Optimized, what an EXCELLENT response. I really enjoyed reading it. I am going to see if a local store called "Helzberg" has the H&A scope. As I recall, they sold these type stones. I think I am sold on the setting pictured above. I may have the center stone raised a *little* higher than that setting shows, but I think overall, that is one of the best I have seen.

Now, to answer your questions.

1. - Does she know? - Well, we have discussed what she would like, and she knows it may happen *some* day, but not sure when. I am lucky, she packs her stuff up every night for aerobics the next morning, and part of that ritual is putting her jewlery in a little bag. Well, most of the time she does this about 6:30 at night. That gives me a couple hours before the stores close to get some quick comparisons, and when I come home I slip it back in the bag, and she never knows it was gone. I am hoping to swap her stone out for a "temporary" stone that looks similar when I actually have the ring made. I think the jeweler will do this for me, for the amount I am spending with him all total. This way she will have no idea on the timing, and should be totally shocked. (fingers crossed)

2. - Keeping existing stone important - For her that is the only way she would allow this to happen. Period. If it didn't work out, she didn't want to even think about it. When we first got married, I had a hard time affording what I got her. Over the years, we have been blessed with good jobs and extra money, and I would like to reward her for being a great companion and mother to our child.

Thanks for all your help, and I would love to hear any additional comments or suggestions. I am learning a great deal here, and I love to learn.

Thanks again!
John
 

texas_26

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 10, 2003
Messages
24
Another question. I have been looking at the stone a little more. Maybeit is because I know it is there, but with the loose stone, I CAN see the inclusion (Clear looking bubble kinda or feather) with a naked eye. Almost right in the center, but off to the side a tad.

1. Is this still an SI2, or would it be an I1?
2. Once put in a setting, would that no longer be visible?

I am having second thoughts on this stone all of a sudden. Very pretty though.
Thanks!
John
 

Mara

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 30, 2002
Messages
31,003
If the inclusion is more in the middle then it will still be visible once the stone is set, only inclusions off to the sides can be covered with a prong.

SI2 means eye-clean at the lowest level, so the fact that you can barely see it now with naked-eye probably means its still an SI2..or a very very clean I1..but I have seen I1's that are marked and included..so its probably an SI2 if that is the primary marker.

Do you think that you can see the inclusion more clearly now because you have viewed it with a loupe and know exactly where it is? Keep in mind that people who view your wife's ring will not be looking at it with 10x mag glass or right up near their eyeball either. They will probably be viewing it from 12-15" away..so what does the stone look like from there?

Originally you said it was hard to spot with a loupe, and you could not see it with your naked eye. I'm just wondering if your mind is playing a trick on you now that you know WHERE exactly it is and what it looks like under a loupe. Others may not even notice. But if it bothers you, you may want to look around for a new stone as from this point on it may never FEEL the same way it did originally. It's really your call and decision. Good luck!
 

enibas

Rough_Rock
Joined
Nov 18, 2002
Messages
58
what a sweet paragraph (the last one about her being a good companion and great mom and all...) -- my eyes watered!!! :blackeye: boo hoo!! (this is *so* not the right forum for this, but i just HAD to comment! good luck in your final decision -- sounds like you're having a great time, too! :appl:

enibas
 

texas_26

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 10, 2003
Messages
24
12-15" away I can't see anything. Even if I know where to look. I just don't want to be paying for something it isn't. If it's an I1 instead of an SI2, then I think the price should be adjusted accordingly. Although I don't think the guy can/will go any cheaper, because he showed me what the diamond cost him, which was $3420.

I CAN see this. It isn't my imagination.

Did I still get a good price considering this visible flaw? What should I do? Very pretty stone.... ugh. I hate this stuff!
 

texas_26

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 10, 2003
Messages
24
enibas -

After I posted that I thought I probably shouldn't have because this really isn't the forum for that and nobody cares, but that is the way I was feeling, and they kinda asked. I am new here, so I am not sure what to post where! Anyway, glad you were touched by it, and I am having a good time with this, I just stress when this is a semi-permanent thing that she will have for a very very long time, this go around anyway.

John
 

Mara

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 30, 2002
Messages
31,003
Sorry--I didn't mean that it was your imagination, but rather that because you now KNOW exactly where the inclusion is, it seems magnified to you. I know when we were condsidering our stones, everything had to be scrutinized, as its an important and expensive purchase.

I think that the pricing is still on the money if its a very clean I1 as the price you were quoted seems VERY good..though I still do think from what you have said that its probably an SI2. You could take it to an independent appraiser before purchase and get their 2nd opinion if it would make you feel more comfortable. As EGL has in the past sometimes not been quite as stringent, maybe this would seal the deal for you one way or another. Or discuss this with the jeweler, see what he says on the I1 vs SI2. Sounds like he is being accomodating due to pricing, get his thoughts.

CutNut and some others recommend having the inclusions in the middle as the sparkle of the stone will most of the time hide something like this. Others recommend inclusions on the sides so that they can be set under prongs. There are many differing opinions out there.

Good luck!
 

optimized

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Dec 28, 2002
Messages
306
I agree with Mara. It's of course impossible for us to know, but it sounds like there's a good chance it is SI2, going by your description of it being "eye clean" at 12-15 inches, but I wouldn't be at all surprised if a GIA report slid it into the I1 category. The reason I say that is because the price you paid would be quite competitive for an I1, and really exceptionally good for an SI2 so it might be reasonable to believe that it's a slightly worse grade than the cert is listing (diamond dealers often know the true value of the diamond, even if the cert says something different). But, at the price you paid, you wouldn't have to feel bad about it either way.

Do you know which EGL lab graded the diamond? As Mara mentioned earlier in the thread (and has been echoed on a bunch of threads in RockyTalk), the American EGL labs have reputations for being more strict with their grading than their overseas labs (especially Israel's reputedly very poor grading), so an American EGL cert would be a reassuring sign.

Anyway, like I said, even if it would grade as an I1 on the GIA scale, it would be a good buy, so I wouldn't sweat the details too much. If you only see the inclusion while practically jamming the stone in your eye, you're probably okay. :) But, as Mara also noted, it's important that you are comfortable with the diamond's properties, regardless of what the cert says. You wouldn't want to spend the rest of your life feeling like the diamond isn't what you thought you were getting, or that you compromised on something so special when you didn't have to...

My $0.02

-Tim
 

optimized

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Dec 28, 2002
Messages
306
Texas,

Don't even think about feeling bad about the very nice comments you had about your wife! Your sentiments were perfectly appropriate to the thread, and any comments like those are welcome in the forum. To me, it sounds like you're doing a very special thing for your beloved, as evidenced by the fact that you're taking such care to try to get the best for her you can.

I really like your "devious" plan, and hope you can get the loaner stone and get her new ring set without her knowing about it. It sounds like you're on the brink of one of the "Great Gifts from the Heart," and I for one hope the plan works out flawlessly. I trust you will keep us all updated as things progress!


enibas,

I think your comments were quite appropriate too. :)


I swear, I never knew I was so sentimental until I started looking for a diamond for my girl and hanging out at Pricescope. :)

-Tim
 

texas_26

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 10, 2003
Messages
24
Well.. A little bad news. I took the diamond to an appraiser tonight. He ran it through a series of machines. It is an F, All the measurements were accurate, and it was a "2" on the cut table, which is excellent. Unfortunately, he said there was no way it was an SI2. He said at best it is an I1.

Did not even come close to exhibiting hearts and arrows as I guess the crown was too shallow. He said as the crown becomes deeper or more shallow, the reflection and brilliance of the diamond chages. He said mine was very brilliant, but not an incredible amount of deep fire because of the shallow crown, but the diamond surface is larger. So I guess it is a tradeoff.

I am probably going to send this one back, and go for another. Had I not been able to see the flaw with a naked eye, I would probably keep it.

Thanks for everyone's help, hopefully on the next go round I will have more luck!

Thanks,
John
 

Mara

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 30, 2002
Messages
31,003
That's not bad news..it is great that you got it appraised and learned the truth before purchasing. You will undoubtedly take the information you have learned and get an excellent choice the second time around.

This stone was somewhat similar to mine with the larger table, shallower crown, and larger spread (leading your stone to look larger than it is). It is a tradeoff sometimes against the perfection of a super ideal, but it's definitely a preference.

Best of luck! :)
 
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